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Best Deal on San Marzano Puree in North Jersey?

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Yet another ________ in North Jersey topic :smile:

I've been scouring my local supermarkets for San Marzano puree to no avail. I'm sure it exists somewhere, though. Of the places that carry it, who's got the best price?

I'm willing to do non DOP San Marzanos, as long as someone can vouch for their quality.

Btw, by the lack of puree available on the retail level, is it safe to assume that I'm committing some sort of culinary sin by not pureeing them myself? I tried seeding/pureeing whole peeled San Marzanos a few weeks ago and the experience was not pleasant. The output was minimal as well.

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Corrados in Wayne or Clifton?


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I haven't been able to find San Marzano puree anywhere. I buy the large can at Costco (6lbs) for I think 4.79. I don't like a chunky sauce so I have no choice but to puree them myself. I haven't had much success using the food mill ala Anne Burrell. I found there was too much waste and even the finest screen let some seeds through. So I resorted back to my original method. Hand crushing and then pressing them through a metal sieve with the back of a metal spoon. Took a little longer, but very little waste. I also tried pureeing them in the blender and passing them as mentioned above. Worked well but I noticed too much frothiness in the sauce as it cooked. Perhaps I pureed them on high for too long. Next time I will only pulse puree.

I will keep looking for the puree.

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Yup, what started off as "Best Deal on" thread, has now become a simple "Where can I find" endeavor.

Who would have thought San Marzano puree would be so hard to find?

I called Corrados. They said that they 'used to carry the San Marzano puree, but the distributor started demanding too much for it, so they dropped it.' :sad: Thanks for the lead on Corrados, though, Tracey, they do have a couple of other hard to find items that I've been looking for like citric acid (for mozzarella) and good pizza flour.

Septemberdog61, your pureeing experiments are a huge help. The milling technique failed me as well. The prospect of hand crushing the tomatoes and pressing them through a sieve with the back of a spoon doesn't sound very appealing, but, if I can't find puree, I guess I don't have a choice.

How about a potato masher for the first phase? I would think that would be a little faster than hand crushing.

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I found these at Shoprite today in Parsippany and they were on sale. 2.99 for a 24 oz. bottle. I bought 4 bottles of the crushed which looks like puree. The petite diced cut looks to be about the size of a pea (maybe a little larger) in puree.

I never thought of a potato masher, but somehow I envsion my backsplash being covered in tomatoes. I think I'll stick to my hands. To quote Lidia: "they are the best tools in the kitchen."

Let me know how the potato masher works.

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Parsippany SR?! That's where I shop! :) Well there and Wharton. Small world, huh?

That's a great find, thanks.

The price tag, even on sale, leaves a little to be desired, though. It's a 24 oz. rather than the traditional 28 oz. container, so $3/24 oz. translates into $3.50/28.

I just got finished buying 8 cans of Wegmans puree for 49 cents a can, so I'm not really in the right mindset to spend 7 times that for a SM equivalent, but... it doesn't look like I have any other choice if I want SM puree.

I do hope that it's not too amazingly wonderful as it'll be a cold day in hell when I spend $5/28 oz. on puree (the non sale price).

Btw, I was just at Corrados (Clifton) and they had peeled SMs for $2.50 a can or a 90 oz. can for $5 (in the warehouse). Should I ever perfect my pureeing technique, that should be quite competitive.

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Very small world Scott. I live in Whippany and would rather drive to SR in Parsippany and Wharton than shop at Pathmark or the Morris Plains SR. Anyway back to the San Marzano tomatoes. The Cento bottles I bought are great for a quick tomato sauce, but I'd be broke if I used them for my big batch of Sunday sauce. I just picked up to cans of the San Marzanos in Costco for sauce this Sunday's football. I'm going to try the blender method again and then the seive and metal spoon. I will only pulse the tomatoes quickly. Hopefully my sauce will not have the pink froth again.

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Morris Plains SR is my closest SR as well (I'm in Morristown). I won't step foot in the place, it's so dirty. Chatham has horrible parking, higher prices and an overall cramped feeling so I tend to avoid that as well. When Wharton first opened, I was head over heels in love, but, over the years, the luster has faded a bit. The prices are a bit lower than Parsippany, but with gas what it is, I really have to buy a lot of food in order to make it worthwhile.

Have you been to Patels in Parsippany? I've been meaning to go, but haven't been able to fit it in my schedule. I've been to Patels in Edison and wasn't all that impressed, but I tend to get excited about new grocers and their (usual) inclination to go that extra mile.

Re; the SMs... I bought the last bottle of crushed on the shelf. I noticed they contain salt. It's not the end of the world, but if I forget and add salt like it's regular puree, it's going to be a huge problem. I can't really say I'm hugely excited about it. The 24 oz. size is screwing with my heavily fine tuned 28 oz. recipe and the non sale price means that I'll probably rarely buy these again, if ever. I'll get to it, but, at the moment, it's not burning a hole in my pantry.

Are the Costco SMs DOP? I remember reading somewhere that Costco sold the uncertified San Marzano 'Brand' tomatoes

Btw, they're no SMs, but I'm really impressed with the Wegmans puree. Really impressed. Bright, thick, flavorful- not sweet, of course, but sugar compensates nicely. I would venture to say that they're a skitch better than Cento's regular puree. At 49 cents a can (sale price), that's pretty darn amazing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Mommy Dearest, you purchased canned San Marzano puree at Whole Foods? Any idea of the brand/size/cost? How was the quality?

I've been making lots of pizza lately, and, each time I make the sauce, I pick up my bottle of Passata SMs, look it over a bit, then go with something else. I'm using less sauce on my pies these days, so, in theory, I could work with 24 oz., but... as I gaze at the bottle, the tomatoes look so dark.

For the last couple years, I've been pretty gung ho about using bright red canned tomatoes for applications that require a fresh tomato flavor such as pizza, but, in the last month or so, I've shifted my obsession from bright red to bright reddish pink. All of my favorite canned tomatoes (cento puree, peeled SMs) have a pinkness to them.

Wegmans puree was a factor in this realization. My prior excitement was a bit premature. I loved the fact that they list 'tomato pulp' as the single ingredient (as oppose to other brands that are reconstituted paste) and I also was head over heels about the thickness. The more I work with it, though, the more I find that it lacks that uncooked 'pink' quality that Cento has. Cento is far more watery, but I can live with that.

I'm not totally trashing Wegmans puree. I would probably choose them over just about non Cento puree, but they don't top Cento's flavor.

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